The Heavy-6


#183

Thanks for the progress report! :slight_smile:

And happy new year!


#184

Hey there, happy new year!

Any idea when this groupbuy will be completed, and you’ll take orders for the next batch? Much obliged!


#185

I’m pretty sure that Norbauer stated that a rerun of the Heavy 6 is HIGHLY unlikely.


#186

If there’s not gonna be a rerun, those 25 Monoliths will be worth their weight in gold one day!


#187

Indeed. Once the group buy units ship, I do intend to have a few extras available in a limited set of finishes, but that’s as close to another run as I’m likely to get anytime soon on this particular design, I’m sorry to say. (Too many projects on my plate as it is. :blush: ) Sorry to repeat myself if I’ve already said that in this thread, but if you want to be first to know when extras are available, my email list would be the place.


#188

I’m already loving the Fc660c I bought in anticipation of these shipping, I’m seriously considering keeping both units I ordered rather than choosing between Aperture and Retro since it wont run again :slight_smile: Greedy I know…


#189

Hey there, sorry but I don’t really follow the updates much since this switched over to keebtalk. What is the status on the bags? I was someone who ordered a bag but not a case and was wondering when we could expect those?

Thanks!


#190

The bags are in stock and ready and waiting on the keyboards. Could you shoot me an email over to shop@norbauer.com and let me know your order number? I’ll be happy to ship it in advance of the others.


#191

Will there be any extras for the bags?


#192

I stopped following this thread, but I’m on your email list already.

Question about the bags:

  • are they only for the Heavy 6?
  • did you ever end up making the TKL bags from the geekhack IC
  • did you send out an email to your mailing list already answering this stuff that I missed?

(hope I’m not hassling you, I’m just a big fan of your work and worried I’ll miss out on something)


#193

There are indeed extras and they’re actually available now. :slight_smile: I was waiting until Heavy-6 extras themselves are ready before announcing this on the email list, but feel free to pick one up if you don’t want to also order an H6 at the same time. It never honestly really occurred to me that people would want the bag without the keyboard—though it should have—otherwise I would have sent out an email. Sorry about that.

They should comfortably fit any similarly-sized keyboard. It isn’t a super-snug fit with the fc660 and Heavy-6; I left a bit of breathing room. I don’t actually have measurements right now, but I’ll try to get them up on the product page soon.

Yes, they were actually finished a long time ago but went through a whole logistical mess while I conducted experiments with various third-party shippers. (I’ve been trying to stop shipping stuff out of my living room.) They’re currently en route from the first shipper I tried (which sucked) to the new company I’m using (which doesn’t) and I hope to have them in stock within the coming week or two, but part of the reason that the first place sucked is that they’re colossally slow and unreliable, and I’ve still been waiting for them to ship them from the one warehouse to the other. -_- If you’re already on my email list, though, you’ll get a notification as soon as they’re up.

Nope. See all answers above. :slight_smile:


#194

@norbauer How’s all of this coming along, any updates?


#195

Somewhat frustratingly, to be honest, but I’m on it. After inspecting the parts closely in person, I’m currently wrestling with the factory that made the aluminum housings on some things I’m not happy with, specifically on the anodized finish of some units. Though they promised repair or replacement of nonconforming parts, I am still waiting on a response/timeline from them on how they’re going to address those issues. I should have an in-depth update to provide this week after I’ve either a) heard from them and have a timeline for their repair/replacement or b) conclude that they’ve ghosted me and have formulated a plan to fix the issues on my own. Either way, though, don’t worry: I never ship (or take money for) products that I’m not proud to put my name on. I’ll let you guys know what the plan is as soon as I have some better information.


#196

tl;dr: all Heavy-6 units to ship around late March with upgraded back-plate finish. Some anodized orders will be cancelled/refunded; powder-coat (and limited Monolith) pre-orders will reopen this week for those affected (or anyone who missed the group buy).

Hi all. I just wanted to provide a quick update. I now have a plan in place to ensure that I only deliver top quality Heavy-6 units, even though the manufacturer delivered many parts I deem unfit.

Specifically, I’m not happy with the finish on the steel rear cover plates, so I’m going to get them all refinished with a nice textured powder coat (still matte black), at my expense. I have tested this refinishing process, and the results are excellent. (Frankly, I think this will be a significant cosmetic upgrade over the originally anticipated zinc plating finish, even if it had come out as well as on the initial zinc-plated samples I got.) Unfortunately, this will mean delivering all units later than I had hoped, but still within the promised “late winter” time frame: it’s now looking like at some point toward the end of March. My apologies for the delay, but I’m only willing to ship stuff that I’m proud of.

Also, alas, I’m going to have to cancel and refund a fair number of anodized (“Aerospace” and “Tactical”) orders once I get final counts of what has passed my own internal inspection (after the supposedly two-round QC process at the manufacturer). I’m simply not happy with the finish on most of them. The issues are subtle, but discernible and not up to my expectations in terms of uniformity. I should have these counts before the end of the week and will issue any necessary cancellation. At that point, I’ll also be sending emails to everyone in the group buy providing an update and back-story.

To help soften the blow for those with cancelled orders (and for anybody else who missed out), I will be re-opening pre-orders later this week. Anodized finishes won’t be available, but many alternatives will be, including a couple of new surprise finishes that weren’t in the original group buy. Everything should ship together around the end of March once the plate refinishing is complete. I regret that I won’t be able to modify an existing order or pre-reserve a case for you if you had an order cancelled—simply due to technical limitations in Shopify— but I ordered a healthy number of extras so there should be enough to go around, so you should just be able to go over to my shop and pick up whatever you want later this week.

As an aside: I don’t think I’m ever going to run anodized parts again. No manufacturer in any country that I’ve tried has managed to deliver them with a consistently high cosmetic standard (I’m admittedly fairly discriminating about this kind of thing). It’s really frustrating to have to scrap 50% or more of a finish, especially if it means disappointing people who were hoping to get that particular one. Anodizing was never intended to be a high-grade cosmetic consumer finish, and unless you’re a company with the resources of Apple, it’s really hard to get great results with it. PVD and high-end powder coating, while considerably more expensive, just yield more consistently beautiful (and durable) finishes. And making beautiful things is all I care about. I’m always exploring new processes and vendors and trying to push the boundaries of the types of high-end finishes that can be achieved, so hopefully I’ll have even more options to offer as I continue to experiment.

Also, as a bit of backstory, for those who care to join me in the pleasure of moralizing fist-shaking, the (US-based) contract manufacturer hard-core screwed me on this and will end up having lost me boatloads of money on the project. After weeks and weeks of initial extensive email back-and-forth with them specifying how incredibly important cosmetic quality control is to me and how exacting my standards would be, and multiple rounds of cosmetically flawless samples, in the end they delivered a majority of production parts that that are, to my mind, completely unacceptable. This after my paying them way more than other factories I’ve used in the past, on the explicitly-discussed premise that they would be giving me top-quality QC. They initially told me that I didn’t need to worry about doing an on-site inspection and pointed me to the assurance in their Terms of Sale that they’ll “repair or replace” any non-conforming goods, a point they reiterated multiple times. Lulled into a false sense of security by these reassurances and the fact that I was dealing with a US company that I could theoretically sue if things went wrong, I decided to send the balance payment before delivery. Needless to say: parts arrived with more than half of them requiring expensive rework. When confronted with this (including photos and samples of the problem), they were initially profusely apologetic, but (presumably after calculating how much it would cost to fix the issues), simply decided that the cosmetic issues weren’t significant enough to merit doing anything about. Rather than the “repair and replace” specified by their contract, they offered an insulting 3% refund!! Of course, I’ve got my lawyer on the case. In the meantime, I’m fronting the cash to get these parts finished up to my standards and am proceeding on the assumption that I’ll never see that money back. But fear not, I’ve got you covered and will make sure that housings parts end up awesome—or will at least die trying. :slight_smile:

In happy news: the powder-coated housings are all done and look great and just need the replacement back-plates. PVD finishing is either complete or nearly so and I’ll be headed to pick those up at the PVD workshop this Monday.


#197

Thank you for the update, sorry to hear about the complications.

I admire your dedication to delivering a superior product deserving of the cost. Thank you for advocating for quality.


#198

Thanks for the update. I really hope I’m not one of the tactical orders that gets cancelled. Sadly I had no interest in any of the other finishes that were offered. I’ll keep my fingers crossed though!


#199

Will the price point be higher than the original anodized finishes? I’m just scared that I don’t have the funds to re-purchase something more expensive.


#200

You are the man. I have total confidence in you. I’m very sorry that you’ve run into snags, but it’s all a learning experience—life goes on, you get smart, pretty soon you’ll be Braniac and I’ll not be able to relate to you at all, although I’ll admire you from a respectable distance.

Thanks, appreciated.


#201

Thank you very much for the update, will you let us know in this thread when preorders open? Or via email?


#202

I plan first to let people know whose orders were cancel to give them the first crack at what I have. Then I’ll announce on my email list and Keebtalk. :slight_smile: